Time: 12:30 am

Present Dennis Easley, Wayne Beierman, Ben Lum, Jamie Long, Max Wilson, Laila Parker, Laura Hmelo, Norm Vig, Richard Strong, Hannah Chapin & Alyssa Thomas

Secretary: Max Wilson

New Business

Excel Energy Representative

Steven Willaert – Excel Energy representative

  • meets with Wayne Beierman monthly
  • works for the division of Excel Energy that focuses on energy conservation

Excel takes the view that increasing conservation is akin to building a new plan in that they add capacity. Since 1984 over 660 megawatts have been deferred through conservation measures

The rep commented that the Language and Dining Center was very well put together from a energy conservation standpoint

Statistics for Excel Energy:

  • 3.1 million customers
  • 16,300 miles of transmission (high capacity) lines
  • 73,000 miles of distribution lines
  • offers natural gas in some areas including Northfield

Generation Capacity

  • Coal –> 54%
  • Wind –> 4%
  • Natural Gas –> 25%
  • Nuclear –> 10%
  • Hydro –> 4%
  • RDF –> 1%

Excel has a standing agreement with Manitoba Hydro for a power exchange where Excel gets 450 megawatts in the summer when production is high in Canada and diverts power to Canada in the winter when demand for Manitoba is high

Details on Windpower

300 megawatts of production in SW Minnesota on line now (Buffalo Ridge)

will be adding 130 megawatts by the end of 2002 in Minnesota

will add another 400 megawatts by the end of 2010

Its costs Excel between $12000 and $15000 to develop each kilowatt of new wind energy

Transmission lines need to connect the wind farms to the grid and it is always a battle to site these high voltage lines for the new 130 megawatts in development the line cost will be from $18 to $20 million

Excel has another windfarm in northern Colorado with a capacity of 22 megawatts and a 7.5 megawatt expansion is planned for this area

The new generators on wind turbines can produce as much as 1.5 megawatts per turbine

The blades of the turbines have a sweep that covers a vertical acre of space

The wind at Buffalo Ridge is rated category 4 which means that the average wind speed is 16 mph

The average wind speed near Carleton is 9 mph (a study was done from 1990-1991)

The rep stressed the point that we wouldn’t need anymore conservation or capacity if we could change people’s habits and how they used electricity

it is much easier to change technology than people

the point was brought up that no one has ever tried to change people’s habits on a large, organized scale for an end like this

Denmark is very advanced in its wind generation capacity

Navitis is the company that Excel has contracted with to build the wind farms at Buffalo Ridge

Fees are imposed by Excel upon those customers with their own generating capacity generally standby power costs consumers who also produce 1/3 to 1/4 of the price of normal power even when they are not consuming that power

this fee is to cover the cost of Excel’s having the production capacity available

The question was raised of what effect does consumers buying renewable energy from Excel have upon the utility

there is no structure in Minnesota to ensure that people can buy green energy

In Denver customers can opt to buy green energy for roughly 2.5 cents over the cost of regular power which is about 3.1 cents per kilowatt hour now

It was mentioned that there is currently a bill in the Minnesota legislature that would mandate some renewable energy – most likely that 10% of total capacity be renewable

The rep estimated that based on averages Carleton probably saves 500-700 kilowatts of load through conservation measures

The energy portfolio for Excel has changed since 1990 when they had no wind power

The rep believes that the use of wind power will likely explode in the next few years

The issue of whether windpower was redundant in the power system was raised because wind power generation is so intermittent and the demand is fairly stable

To some degree it is redundant but Excel tries to predict when wind is going to be producing power and tries to compensate with the rest of the system

Excel can also shift power over great distances to where it is needed because they cover so great an area

Questions of land ownership where wind farms are cited were raised

Excel leases the land but the rep did not know the details about the agreements or how they were made

The question of whether the college would incur the standby fees if we produced our own baseload through something like BioMass fuels was raised and the standby fee still applied because even with the most reliable forms of energy the production has to be stopped intermittently for maintenance and upkeep

The rep believes that Excel Energy will continue to be a leader in the development of renewable energy since the recent merger but that state governments can do a lot to force the development of renewables

Meeting Adjourned